Wednesday, 25 July 2018 08:27

Staffan Tollgard Design Group helps refurbish and integrate two separate Grade II Listed apartments

    This Knightsbridge penthouse is a luxurious contemporary lateral living space on a prestigious square. The design was achieved through the refurbishment and integration of two separate Grade II Listed apartments for the personal use of a British property developer.

    Staffan Tollgard Design Group (STDG) worked with Peek Architects to create a functional, luxurious and rational spatial arrangement of the space, from the two differing layouts with differing period architectural features. The aim was to form a series of layouts that felt as though the apartment had always existed, rather than two separate spaces that had been summarily bolted together. STDG’s role comprised the selection and specification of the architectural finishes, detailed design of the bathrooms and joinery, together with the full furniture, fixtures and equipment design. Lighting designer Xavio Lighting was responsible for the technical elements of the home automation and architectural lighting. The brief included the selection of all decorative fittings throughout and curation of the final artworks from the client’s own extended collection.

    The brief

    The client wanted a contemporary living space that respected the heritage and grandeur of the original Grade II Georgian envelope, and its architectural features.

    The warmth and elegance of textures and materials was to be valued over bold colours, with a desire for a striking and masculine aesthetic. Quality home automation was to be integrated discreetly throughout.

    In addition to being a good cook, the client enjoys entertaining with a chef, therefore, the brief was for entertaining use as much as relaxing. This meant an everyday kitchen for the client and his family, and a restaurant-grade environment for a visiting chef, and so the kitchen was declared an opportunity for creating a dramatic entertaining and cooking space at the heart of this newly-imagined home.

    The scheme

    The fusion of the two properties began with rationalising the layouts and flow between the new spaces – introducing a more important entrance, large kitchen and dining area, and a generous reception room with hidden access to a private study and two en-suite bedrooms.

    The importance of creating a sense of arrival that would convey the status of the apartment and set the tone for the rest of the journey through the spaces was considered during the design.

    The location and creation of the generously proportioned hallway was the foundation. The unifying palette of veined marble with bronze inlay and dark border was introduced, together with the neutral textured silk wallpaper that would feature elsewhere in the apartment. Dark framed tall doors offer intriguing possibilities – through these lie hidden passages to the private areas of the home, but the vista of the monolithic kitchen island, with its globe of lights suspended above a dark dining table draws the visitor up the stone stairs to the heart of the home.

    The two principal rooms of the former apartments provided exceptional views onto the elegant garden – the perfect foil for a series of new entertaining spaces where the client’s desire for open-plan cooking and dining could flow seamlessly, into a multi-tasking reception room, unified by the chevron timber floor with ebony borders and bronze inlay.

    The existing impressive classical proportions required STDG to create openings that would feel both natural and elegant. The immoveable chimney flues allowed symmetrical openings on either side for the key passages between the dining room and the large reception room. These were kept as wide and as tall as possible to create views through the apartment. The chimney breast, a strong vertical plane with a double-sided contemporary fireplace, was clad in Vals stone on all sides, providing both function and focus for both rooms.

    The restaurant-grade kitchen was another mark of the client’s appreciation of excellence in engineering and innovation. The kitchen was to act as a feature of the view from the hallway and, with its monolithic veined stone island, a dramatic sculptural still life.

    In the private spaces the walls are softened with textured silk and linen and clever joinery conceals modern conveniences. The bathrooms are another exercise in subtle drama – characterful stone contrasts against thoroughly modern ceramics from Armani Casa with beautiful rose gold brassware accents.

    The budget for the project allowed for exceptional finishes and flawless quality throughout, however, with a client thoroughly versed in the construction and development industry, budget meetings were held throughout the project to ensure quality and value for money.

    STDG picked the best of contemporary design from a selection of European and American suppliers for furniture and lighting. Emmemobili, Meridiani, Kagan, Flexform, Roll and Hill and Ceccotti were some of the suppliers used to bring the stated palette of wood and upholstery with metal detailing throughout. A British joinery company manufactured key pieces of joinery in the reception room and study, but for the walk-in wardrobes metal and glass wardrobes from Porro were specified.

    In the private spaces the walls are softened with textured silk and linen and clever joinery conceals modern conveniences. The bathrooms are another exercise in subtle drama – characterful stone contrasts against thoroughly modern ceramics from Armani Casa with beautiful rose gold brassware accents.

    STDG always attempts to find the unique red thread in each project – the creative DNA that runs through a piece of work. It is unique to each project and comes from the particular mixture of the client’s story, the architecture and the wider environment and setting.

    Study

    Silk walls create a calm envelope while one wall of joinery features a bronze border picking out the shelves around the wall-hung TV. A sculptural design from Giorgetti is deliberately light – a contemporary answer to the gentleman’s study.  

    Master bedroom

    Floor-to-ceiling joinery and upholstered panels conceal the dual openings behind the headboard into the bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. Curtains are recessed into the ceiling and a coffer allows for indirect lighting with task lighting integrated into the headboard.

    En-suite

    The interplay of the sculptural bath, large-format tiles and brassware add an unmistakeably contemporary identity to this master bathroom.

    Dressing room

    Backlit glass panels from Porro add a little drama to the master bedroom en-suite. The cleverly concealed fire escape is glimpsed up the stairs.

    Guest bedroom

    Silk-effect wallpaper and silk underfoot adds to the guest’s sensory appreciation of the luxurious yet understated values of the apartment’s owner.

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